Payne name still carries organizational weight with Democrats

Sources say Democratic organizations tired of infighting are likely to unite across three counties in favor of Newark Council President Donald Payne, Jr. for the vacant Congressional seat in the 10th District.

“My sense is once Payne got in the race it was ‘game over,’” a source told

Three candidates want the backing of the Essex, Union and Hudson county Democratic Party organizations: Payne, state Sen. Nia Gill (D-34), and West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice.

Rice forged strong ties in Roselle when he campaigned vigorously for winning Mayor Jamel Holley. Gill has close ties to state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20).

But the Essex portion of the 10th District still commands 57% of the vote, and the Hudson and Union power players don’t want to start a war with Essex over a congressional seat not based in their own respective counties, sources close to the process told

Payne, Jr. has close organizational ties to powerful Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo.

No one’s saying anything on the record about who will get the line, but sources agree the Payne name carries the most organizational weight in the district.

“I have met with three viable candidates,” said Union County Democratic Committee Chair Charlotte DeFilippo. “We talk to everyone, and we make a determination.”

Union plans to reach a conclusion by Thursday of this week, and Hudson will follow. An Essex source confirmed that Payne would have the Essex line.

Payne name still carries organizational weight with Democrats